How to Deal With a Deadbeat Dad

by Louise Balle

A deadbeat dad gets that name when he refuses to see his kids or support them financially and emotionally. It is not a term to be taken lightly and should be reserved for the worst offenders--according to the Census Bureau. only about 10 percent of non-custodial fathers fit into this category. In order to deal with a deadbeat, you have to be patient, knowledgeable on matters involving child support and realistic. It is not likely that you will be able to change his perspective on the matter, so it is not always fruitful to attempt to do what you can according to the law and focus on your children.

Understand the definition of a deadbeat dad. If the father intentionally refuses to pay for any of the needs related to the child for over a year even though he was able to or owes more than $5,000, he is defined as a deadbeat dad according to federal law. When he denies the child and disappears for a long period of time, these are also clear signs that he is not interested in providing support.

Make an effort to speak with the dad to see whether you can come to a compromise that will keep the welfare of the children in mind if you feel he may be reasonable and interested in seeing them. Sit down during your talk with a neutral, respected family member or friend who can mediate and help you come to an agreement.

File a claim with your local child support or family court if you cannot get the required support directly from the dad. You can hire a lawyer to do this or file on your own by visiting your local courthouse. You will have to give the court as much information about the dad as possible, including his last known address, phone number and social security number if available.

Allow the court system to handle your child support case rather than continually trying to chase down or reason with an unapologetic deadbeat. The balance of what he owes will continue to accrue until he starts paying it down.

Focus on your child's welfare over all other issues. Do not drain yourself searching for a deadbeat dad to the point where you are neglecting the needs of your immediate family. Instead, focus on finding a source of income of your own to support yourself and your child.

Tips

  • If you feel the deadbeat dad may want to change his ways, keep him up to date on his child's life. Call or write him a short message from time to time letting him know how the child is doing. This could encourage him to step up in the child's life at some point.
  • Avoid dealing with the deadbeat directly if the relationship is belligerent or hostile. If you have one, allow your lawyer to get in touch with the deadbeat dad to avoid conflicts.

About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.

Photo Credits

  • children image by Orlando Florin Rosu from Fotolia.com